Cold temperatures and an increase in crude oil spot prices applied upward pressure to natural gas prices this week. On February 22, the natural gas spot price at the Henry Hub had increased 23 cents from last week, or three percent, to $7.54 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). This Wednesday's price of $7.54 was $1.62, or 27 percent, above last year's level of $5.92 per mmBtu.
Shut-in natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico was 1.504 billion cubic feet per day as of Wednesday, February 22, down from its level on February 8 of 1.554 billion cubic feet per day.
The amount of natural gas in storage in the East Region decreased six percent to 1,174 billion cubic feet for the week ending February 17, which was 381 billion cubic feet above the 5-year average. Nebraska is a part of the East Region (see map) which is a major natural gas consumer, particularly in the residential and commercial sectors. The industrial sector, which includes agriculture, is also a major consumer in this state. Most of the gas is supplied from the Producing Region with a fair amount imported from Canada. The Henry Hub in southern Louisiana is a major market center with interconnections for many of the pipelines that transport U.S.-produced gas to the East Region. Furthermore, the Henry Hub is the preferred reference point for prices for most of the domestic gas destined for the East. Therefore, market conditions and developments in the East Region and price movements and trends at the Henry Hub are usually highly correlated.
Notes: An archive is available. Divide the price by ten (10) to obtain the price per hundred cubic feet (ccf) or the approximate price per therm.